Trump win raises ques­tions about UN cli­mate deal

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

Me­dia re­ports say the crowd grew to about 300 peo­ple, in­clud­ing some who sat in the mid­dle of the road to block traf­fic. The crowd of anti-Trump pro­test­ers burned Amer­i­can flags and chanted, “That’s not my pres­i­dent.”

In Seat­tle, a group of about 100 pro­test­ers gath­ered in the Cap­i­tal Hill neigh­bour­hood, blocked roads and set a trash bin on fire.

In Penn­syl­va­nia, hun­dreds of Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh stu­dents marched through the streets, with some in the crowd call­ing for unity. The stu­dent-run cam­pus news­pa­per, The Pitt News, tweeted about an event later Wed­nes­day, ti­tled ‘Emer­gency Meet­ing: Let’s Unite to Stop Pres­i­dent Trump.’ Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. MAR­RAKECH (AP): THE ELEC­TION of a United States (US) pres­i­dent who has called global warm­ing a “hoax” alarmed en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and cli­mate sci­en­tists yes­ter­day, rais­ing ques­tions about whether Amer­ica, once again, would pull out of an in­ter­na­tional cli­mate deal.

Many said it’s now up to the rest of the world to lead ef­forts to rein in green­house gas emis­sions, while oth­ers held out hope that Don­ald Trump would change his stance and hon­our US com­mit­ments un­der last year’s land­mark Paris Agree­ment.

“Now that the elec­tion cam­paign has passed and the re­al­i­ties of lead­er­ship set­tle in, I ex­pect he will re­alise that cli­mate change is a threat to his peo­ple and to whole coun­tries which share seas with the US, in­clud­ing my own,” said Marshall Is­lands Pres­i­dent Hilda Heine.

Small is­land na­tions which fear they will be swal­lowed by ris­ing seas are among the big­gest sup­port­ers of the Paris deal and other in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to curb emis­sions, mainly from fos­sil fu­els.

WORLD­WIDE EF­FORT

More than 100 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US, have for­mally joined the agree­ment, which seeks to re­duce emis­sions and help vul­ner­a­ble coun­tries adapt to ris­ing seas, in­ten­si­fy­ing heat waves, the spread­ing of deserts and other cli­mate changes.

“I’m sure that the rest of the world will con­tinue to work on it,” Moroc­can chief ne­go­tia­tor Aziz Mek­ouar said at UN cli­mate talks in Mar­rakech.

Many en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and sci­en­tists weren’t so sure.

“The Paris Agree­ment and any US lead­er­ship in in­ter­na­tional cli­mate progress is dead,” said Dana Fisher, di­rec­tor of the Pro­gram for So­ci­ety and the En­vi­ron­ment at the Univer­sity of Mary­land.

How­ever, the tran­si­tion to­ward cleaner en­ergy is so en­trenched in the US, it would con­tinue with­out fed­eral money, she added.

The US, un­der the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, de­clined to join the pre­vi­ous cli­mate deal, the 1997 Ky­oto Pro­to­col, which greatly re­duced its im­pact on global emis­sions. But Pres­i­dent Barack Obama made cli­mate change a pri­or­ity and was in­stru­men­tal in mak­ing the Paris Agree­ment come to­gether.

Trump pledged in May to “can­cel” the Paris deal.

He has called for strip­ping reg­u­la­tions to al­low un­fet­tered pro­duc­tion of fos­sil fu­els – a key source of emis­sions – and re­scind­ing the Clean Power Plan, an Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion strat­egy to fight cli­mate change.

In May, Trump told an oil and gas con­fer­ence in North Dakota he would “save the coal in­dus­try” and stop all pay­ments of US tax dol­lars to glob­al­warm­ing pro­grammes.

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